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The Missing You


The hardest part of loss is not absence
but presence. Everyday things become suffused
with meaning, a resonance that defies logic
and comes and goes like the tide.
The first three chords of a song on the radio
become Saturday mornings when I was young
and being woken by Neil Sedaka played at
an unreasonable volume.
Or, there is the table at that restaurant
whose seats once held us and are now empty,
though people still occupy them.
I can hardly do the dishes in the kitchen
where I can still feel you, realer than
the boiling water that scalds my skin,
in my attempt to see whether there
is a presence, or an absence, underneath.
All I know is you are both here and not here,
your voice is silent and so very loud,
and the missing you has become a part of me.